What is Egoism?

What is Egoism?

June 28, 2021 Off By Felso

It is possible to answer the question of what is egoism as follows: Egoism is the love of the self, the emphasis on selfishness. Egoism, in general, is about acting in line with one’s own interests.

Egoism is one of the frequently discussed topics in the history of philosophy. Ethics has become one of the most popular topics in philosophy, since dealing with ethical issues also necessitates dealing with egoism.

According to Schopenhauer, man is a constantly willing being. What determines these desires is the person’s desires and tendencies. One wants more for himself. The more a man can break his will, the more he can set aside his desires and inclinations, the more just can he be. Being just will be possible only when a person overcomes egoism. So egoism is the state of wanting everything for oneself.

According to Schopenhauer, egoism is the state of wanting everything for oneself.

According to Thomas Hobbes, the individual acts with “self-love”, that is, always and primarily by thinking about himself. For this reason, the purpose of human actions is to protect and maintain one’s own life.

Morality is a form of expression of one’s self-preservation instinct. It is the individual who calls the actions of the individual good and bad. The individual always does what is in his best interest. Every human interest cannot be the same, so the universe cannot be a moral law.


According to psychoanalytic theory, “I” or Latin “ego” is the part of the mind that comes into contact with the outside world. It is used for people who make everything their own and think only for their own interests and interests. Today this is given meaning as self-reflection.

Although selfishness is generally thought of as a bad adjective, there has always been a group and philosophical school that has defended it starting from ancient Greece. For example, some of the ancient Greek philosophers and their followers predicted that everyone should seek their own happiness and claimed that this would lead to greater prosperity of the society.

It is possible to see egoism purely only in primitive tribes and children. In all other cases, selfishness arises under the influence and veiled by the society’s or other thoughts, feelings and wishes of the person.

For this reason, one type of selfishness is seen as satisfying biological desires and desires, while other types appear in more indirect ways and views. For example, some of the attitudes and behaviors taken to satisfy the desire to achieve a better position in the society belong to this group.

Ethical (moral) egoism: The doctrine advocating that it is right for individuals to always do what is in their own interests,
Psychological egoism: The doctrine that individuals always act for their own interests,
Rational egoism: The doctrine that argues that it is rational for people to act in their own interests.

Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook